Sweet On You - By Kate Perry Page 0,1

very satisfying."

Eve laughed. "In the long run, you should say something to your brother. Otherwise, he won't know he did something wrong."

"That's the problem. I'm afraid I'll tell him and he still won't realize he did something wrong." She shook her head sadly and stood up, brushing off the back of her jeans. "I appreciate the talk though. And the use of your kitchen floor."

Laughing, Eve stood up and hugged her. "My kitchen wouldn't exist if it weren't for you. You're welcome to use the floor, and anything else, whenever you like."

That thing in her chest that had been tight for so many months loosened a tiny bit in the warmth of Eve's friendship, and she squeezed her new friend tighter. "Maybe moving to San Francisco wasn't complete insanity."

"San Francisco is never a bad idea, and moving to Laurel Heights was serendipity." Eve linked an arm through hers and walked her out. "We take care of our own."

The community was why she'd impulsively decided to move. She'd done a booksigning at Grounds for Thought and had fallen in love with the neighborhood. Eve had introduced her to her women friends, all professionals but, more importantly, all welcoming and nice. Plus, Laurel Heights had seemed like the ideal place to open a West Coast flagship kitchen.

Though finishing the remodel hadn't been high on her priority list lately.

"Want a biscotti for the road?" Eve asked.

"No." Turning down biscotti was a true testament to her state of mind. She loved biscotti, especially Eve's. They weren't like her nonna's, but they were a close second. "I think I'm going to go for a walk."

"Good decision." Eve gave her another hug. "I'm having a girls' night at my place next week. Will you come?"

She hesitated. She'd never been the kind of woman to have many girlfriends. She'd had her brother growing up, and then she'd been focused on her career. Women chefs were few and far between, and the few she knew were more competitive than friendly. "I'll think about it."

"Let me rephrase my statement," she said, holding Daniela's arm. "You are coming. Bring champagne."

Shaking her head, Daniela walked out of the café, marveling at how smart Eve was to make going to her girls' night so easy. Maybe she'd actually go.

Thinking about it, about her brother, and about the career she was beginning to hate, she walked up Sacramento, past Fillmore, not caring that the hill was steep. People complained about San Francisco's hills, but she loved them. Walking up one made her feel like she'd accomplished something.

God knew she hadn't done much lately. She'd been avoiding making decisions on everything and, consequently, everything was on hold—catering gigs, interviews, appearances... And then there was the remodel on her new boutique outlet in San Francisco. She'd managed to convince Tony that it was a good idea to open a West Coast office, but the construction wasn't done yet.

It was her fault. She'd been dragging her feet on making decisions. Now, the wolves were closing in.

Well—wolf, singular. Her brother. He'd been pressing her to get off her butt and make things happen.

Antonio Rossi wasn't her favorite person right now. How could you be too busy to wish your beloved younger sister happy birthday? Granted, her parents hadn't called either that day, but they'd had an excuse: they'd been somewhere in India and had called as soon as they could.

Daniela looked around and realized she'd walked all the way downtown. With a shrug, she kept walking, all the way to the Embarcadero and the Ferry Building.

She loved the Ferry Building. It was a place to indulge all your senses. She walked through the vendors slowly, watching the people, smelling the spices in the air, looking at all the food. Normally she'd have spent hours milling about through the shops. Today she walked through the building to the piers outside.

A movement by one of the Dumpsters caught her attention. Too vigorous to be a rat, she blinked in surprise when she saw it was a boy.

His hair was scraggly and sticking up in various places. He wore jeans that were too big, bunched a little at the waist. His T-shirt stuck out from the bottom of his oversized hoodie. In his hand, he held half a baguette that he'd obviously scrounged out of the Dumpster.

Her heart sank. She reached for her purse to pull out some money to give him for food but realized she hadn't brought a purse.

Then he pulled out a ragged stuffed animal. Tucking it